Nothing says “Latin” like rice and beans. This is my hubby’s #1 comfort food, so we usually have cooked black beans and brown rice in the fridge for a quick, filling meal (just add veggies). This is a great staple to keep on hand It is inexpensive, easy, nutritious, delicious and versatile! Eat them by themselves with a little avocado and salsa, or add them to tostadas, tacos, tofu scramble or a salad. Yum, Yum, Yum! I’ve even heard (though I haven’t tried it yet) that they freeze very well too.
Black beans and brown rice are a great, nutritious meal – low in fat and calories; high in fiber and protein. Black beans are high in cholesterol lowering fiber, magnesium (which can protect against heart disease), and antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavonoids that have anti-cancer properties too. Brown rice is also high in magnesium along with selenium and B vitamins. Both are also gluten-free.
Many people shy away from cooking their own beans. They think it takes too long, that you have to soak them overnight, or they just don’t understand how. Beans take a little time, but its largely inactive. Of course you could always just open up a can of beans, but sometimes it’s nice to cook a fresh batch from scratch. So if you’ve ever wanted to, but never tried. Here’s your opportunity and the recipe!
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water or vegetable broth
3 cups dried black beans
2 bay leaves
salt (to taste)
- Rinse brown rice under running water to remove some of the surface starch
- Add rinsed rice and 4 cups water (or vegetable broth) to a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for 40 min.
THE NO-SOAK METHOD:
- Rinse the black beans in a colander, under running water.
- Place in a large pot and cover with water, about 2-3 inches above the top of the beans.
- Bring to a hard boil over high heat for 10 min. Skim off any foam that may accumulate at the top.
- While boiling, cut two slits into the cut side of the onion half. There’s no need to remove the papery outer layers of the onion. Insert a bay leaf half way into each of the slits. After the 10 minutes of hard boil, add to the beans.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1.5-2 hours or until beans are tender. Check periodically during the simmering time to see if you need to add any additional water. If they get too dry, the beans will begin to burn. The liquid with thicken over time.
- When beans are almost tender (still a little al dente) add salt to taste. Adding it now will insure that you can taste the salt in the bean broth, and some of it will still be absorbed by the beans themselves.
- When cooking is complete, remove the onion and bay leaves, and serve it up!
There you have it! Hope you enjoy!